Too Many Streaming Ads? Try Fast-Forwarding. Oh, Wait.

One would think a TV platform airing three-to five minutes of advertising per hour -- on an on-demand service -- would be an incredible plus for consumers. But some research suggests it isn’t enough.

It comes amidst a traditional world that still has 13 to 18 minutes of non-program content time (national/local TV ads, on-air promos, PSAs) in the linear TV business.

It turns out that consumers are still pissed, mostly because of the repeated frequency of those messages. And perhaps this is accelerated when TV viewers are increasingly concerned about data, privacy and other issues. Losing any media control -- in all forms -- can raise heart rates.

We may have forgotten one missing piece of the puzzle: fast-forwarding through commercial messaging. The idea was that in exchange for much lower advertising per hour versus linear TV, the consumer would give up something.

But with new streaming apps, there is no fast-forwarding. It only comes via traditional TV-shifting VOD platforms and technology.



Now, as we all know, fast-forwarding through non-program content isn’t a perfect science. People still wind up seeing some ad content. And even then, people with fast-forwarding capabilities don’t or forget to fast-forward. Rough research years ago suggested even with the option, consumers still see 50% of ad messages.

Are we just nitpicking here? Overall, consumers like and continue to subscribe to new ad-supported streamers (AVOD). The value proposition is working -- at least right now, as the shiny new thing.

What we are talking about might be some latency when it comes to transitioning consumer technologies. Digital video fast-forwarding through content -- advertising and otherwise -- as been around for at least two decades. Longer when considering VCRs.

Some of this changing TV consumer media behavior may be just a sticking point for some -- but not a deal-breaker. Maybe just some adjustment is needed.

Remember the mute button?

2 comments about "Too Many Streaming Ads? Try Fast-Forwarding. Oh, Wait.".
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  1. Dan Ciccone from STACKED Entertainment, June 17, 2021 at 12:18 p.m.

    I'd really like to see studies on viewer behavior now with YouTube. The commercial load is attrocious and the interruptions at the worst possible times during content.  Most viewers don't have the stomach to fork over $16 a month for yet one more ad free platform and anectodally, my friends, my family, and I all have commented how we just stop watching YouTube more often on a regular basis and go to other streaming platforms.

    Advertisers are probably happy that they've found this platform that can deliver eyeballs, but I'd be curious as to what kind of data they're demanding to see how viewing behavior has changed since the explosion of interruptions on YouTube over the last year.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 17, 2021 at 2:04 p.m.

    One of the keys is how the commercials are presented by streaming AVOD services. Let's say that one of them limits its commercials to four breaks per hour within program content and these contain no more than two minutes of ads each---four "30s", for example.  After a while viewers will get used to this and while some may still leave the room or become distracted more than the normal amount will watch the  messages---at least some of them. That's one scenario. Another uses the helter skelter approach, Dan is referring to-with commercials interrupting program content without regard to the way the content flows or is paced---just randomly. You can't get used to that kind of thing as it's totally unpredictable---and, I would think, literally drives eyeballs from the screen.

    I would like to beleive that as AVOD gets organized and big time national TV advertisers begin to rely on it to a larger degree that the first scenario---carefully placed, in-show, breaks that fit into the flow of the content---not interrupting scenes people are watching intently---will become the norm---even if, eventually, ad clutter in terms of the number of breaks as well as in-break clutter will increase---but, hopefully not to excess. The second scenario--the helter skelter scheduling of ads is, in my opinion, not likely to be tolerated by either viewers or advertisers for long

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